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The Search for a New Job Begins

When I began working for my employer, nearly ten years ago, I absolutely loved my job. I loved the people I worked with, the environment, the mission of the company and the technologies I developed. For the first few years I came to work excited, I worked long hours and I was proud of the work I accomplished.

Of course, as is often the case, as the years wore on my feelings began to change. After years of working under the same management and bureaucracy I began to feel annoyed, bored and stifled. Around the five year mark I polished my resume and engaged in a couple of interviews.

I was eager to look elsewhere, but I quickly found that each job sounded exactly the same as my current one. Each position seemed to entail the same amount of bureaucracy, outdated technologies, slow systems and even slower people. Not only that, but with a new job I’d be starting over from scratch, I’d have less vacation and less benefits.

Although I was offered other positions I ultimately decided not to quit. In fact, I went back to my job with a renewed sense of excitement. I felt re-energized in my work. I might face the same problems day-in and day-out, but at least I was doing so while building a pension, contributing to my 401(k), and accumulating extra days off.

Of course, as time wore on my feelings soured again. Around the 7 year mark I considered leaving again, but then significant medical problems halted all of those thoughts. For awhile my medical issues trumped everything else, and whether I liked my job or not, it paid the bills and allowed me to take time off to visit doctors and physical therapists. I trudged through my job, because in all due honesty I had very little choice in the matter, and very little motivation to do anything other than focus on getting well.

Now here I am, at the same company I started with nearly ten years ago. Over the last few years the company I loved has almost completely disappeared. The technology is dated, my favorite co-workers have abandoned ship, and most recently my commute has quite literally quadrupled.

I think it is now time to reconsider my career. How long can I continue to hang on to a company when I feel that I am attaining no personal or career growth? Yesterday after a long discussion with my husband I decided to begin looking for a new job. I know the market is not the best and I might not find exactly what I’m looking for, but thankfully I can remain at my current job until I find something more appealing.

It is with mixed emotions that I look forward. My current company has been amazingly good to me. They have provided me with wonderful opportunities and amazing benefits, but as the days go on I can’t help but feel that the ship is sinking beneath me. I know I might not find what I’m looking for, but I’ll never find anything if I don’t start looking.

financialprudence

Monday 23rd of February 2009

Good luck to you. I resigned last month. Worked there (Japanese electronic multinational)for nearly 20 years. Just like traineeinvestor, my brain got stuck in "off" mode years ago.I'm currently unemployed. My resigning was not a wise decision you might say, well it for me, at that particular time, its was the only thing to do.(Looks like it's me who need the luck now isn't it?)

One Frugal Girl

Monday 23rd of February 2009

@traineeinvestor -- I think you hit the nail on the head. Now I'm not so worried about leaving, but I can certainly imagine looking back and wondering why I waited so long to leave in the first place.

@anonymous -- I certainly feel thankful to have a job in this environment. A lot of my coworkers have been laid off and it's certainly better to look for a job while you still have one, than panic about finding one after you've been laid off. Sometimes feeling grateful for the job I have makes it more enjoyable. Maybe that trick will work for you too.

@the shopping sherpa -- oh, two extra months of paid leave sounds so nice. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way here :-)

@elizabeth -- when you figure out what you want to do definitely let me know. I feel like my life will eventually go in a completely different direction, but I'm not sure I'm ready for a leap quite that big yet.

Elizabeth

Saturday 21st of February 2009

good luck! I'm about at that point myself, only for me, it's because I want to find something that doesn't involve staring at a computer for 8 hours a day and is more directly in line with my values. But I don't know what that "something" is yet, only that it'll probably be totally different and require me to go back to school, and hate to leave until then. I do enjoy my job, but I'm just not sure I'm 8-hours-passionate about it anymore. And I'll hit 10 years next August. :)

I like that 2 months after 10 years idea!

Anonymous

Friday 20th of February 2009

you are an inspiration...i have been at my company for only 3 years and I am already looking elsewhere. I felt burned out within 2 years and tried to keep going but really feel no attachment or commitment to my current company. I recently finished a degree in a totally different field anyway so I have definitely decided to leave. now its just hard to stay motivated day to day because I keep thinking that I will be out of here soon. As you said, with the current job market that is unlikely so I do have to continue to work there. i guess i should feel lucky to just have a job but it doesn't really make me like it any better.

traineeinvestor

Friday 20th of February 2009

Sounds very familiar. I left my previous employer after 14 years because the challenge had gone out of the job - it had become boring and my enthusiasim had disappeared years ago. It was a very good firm to work for, the pay was excellent and my position was very secure (not something to be taken for granted in these times). But my brain was increasingly stuck in "off" mode most of the time. I spent about three years thinking about alternatives before making the move.

The new job involves building a new business unit servicing the financial sevices sector. In this market it sometimes feels like "mission impossible", but the renewed sense of intellectual stimulation leaves me with only one regret - not making the move sooner.

From a financial standpoint, I did not hand in my notice until I had (i) had accepted the written offer (ii) run a budget to see how we would cope if the nwe job didn't work out (iii) enrol me in my wife's medical plan and (iv) have a list of things to do if I ended up facing an extended period of unemployment.

Good luck with whatever you decide, but being stuck in an unstimulating environment for most of your waking hours sounds like a good reason to make the move.

As I put it to a friend of mine who faced a similar issue (working for a company in decline): would you rather be the first rat to leave the sinking ship or the captain who goes down with the ship?